Who We Are

Board Members

Chair: Garrison Beck
Vice Chair: Rich O’Brian
Treasurer: Jeff Mansir
Secretary: Tonya Gorman
Susan Parks, Mike Perisho, Jess Raahede, Wayne Ladner

Staff

General Manager: Shawn Menard
Grocery & Bulk Manager: Karen Benner
Cafe Manager: Tonya Gorman
Co-op Clerks: Jake Wilson, Tyson Pease, Nadine Zdanovich, Clark Heijbroek

Board Members

Garrison Beck has been a resident of Kennebec County for his entire life. He lived in Monmouth until attending Colby College in Waterville where he graduated in Environmental Studies with a concentration in policy. Currently, Garrison lives in West Gardiner and is employed as the Watershed Protection Specialist for Midcoast Conservancy in Edgecomb. As a student at Colby College, Garrison worked closely with the Barrels Community Market in Waterville as a program manager with the Colby Volunteer Center. He coordinated and oversaw all students from Colby who volunteered at Barrels Community Market and tracked the overall volunteer contribution, which ultimately supported what is now the Barrels Co-op. In his current occupation as Senior Program Manager, Garrison is responsible for implementing and overseeing all of the Association’s various programs, which require significant skill in volunteer management and organizational development. He also serves as the Association’s in-house bookkeeper and assists in writing and applying for a number of grants, all skills which he brings to the board of the Gardiner Food Co-op & Café. Garrison also brings information to the Co-op from courses at Colby College that are particularly relevant, including Global Food Policy, Environment and Natural Resource Economics, and Sustainable Development, among others.

Jeff Mansir is a Gardiner resident, married with three children, who grew up in Augusta, ME.  Jeff is a CPA with an accounting firm in Maine, and enjoys running.   As a supporter of all things “Gardiner” and local food enthusiast, Jeff favors the Coop for its friendly people and outstanding espresso.

Susan J. Parks is an educator in Maine and served as an educational consultant at the Maine Department of Education from 1988 through 2016 with specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Special Education, Education of the Homeless and Section 504. Ms. Parks is now a non-attorney educational advocate for children and adults with disabilities, as well as a substitute teacher in Central Maine and the Executive Director of the Marti Stevens Interactive Improv Theater. Her interest in the Gardiner Food Coop began when she learned of it from friends in Gardiner. She is the proud
mother of two adult sons and the grandmother of a 17-month old baby girl.

Wayne Ladner lives in Richmond, and has lived in the area since he started his engineering career in 1980.  Over the next 24 years he held numerous positions; as a process engineer, a new product engineer, an engineering supervisor, manager of an equipment maintenance group, and several client-centric roles in contract manufacturing.  At various times he was responsible for process documentation, quality control and corrective action plans, interviewing new hires, creating job descriptions, and managing employee performance. At one point he managed a $1.4M cost center budget, and was responsible for over a dozen technicians keeping over 200 pieces of equipment properly maintained.  He started his second career as a licensed health and life insurance agent in 2004 and is now an independent broker doing business as Wayne Ladner Insurance.  Wayne likes to educate and truly help his clients.  On his off-time he enjoys woodlot management, wild mushroom foraging, hiking in the mountains and kayaking.  He has two adult daughters, both Hall-Dale grads, who are now making their own way in the world. He’s wanted to ‘give back’ to the community for a number of years and this opportunity on the board became available at just the right time. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, he finally figured out that he’s a somewhat distant (fourth cousin) to many of the “Gardiner Ladner’s”).

Staff:

Shawn MenardShawn Menard went to the University of Maine Farmington where he received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Environmental Studies. He spent all four years at UMF working for the Sustainable Campus Coalition. His work directly saved energy, minimized waste, and reduced the environmental footprint of the campus. He received a Master of Science in Management with a Sustainability concentration from New England College. Prior to the Gardiner Co-op, Shawn worked as Produce Manager at the Concord Food Co-op in New Hampshire.

 

Tonya Gorman grew up on the Southern Coast of Maine. Caring for the environment, animals and people has been an important aspect of her life since childhood. Moving to Gardiner in 2003 was meant to be temporary but has now become home to her and her daughter.  She started her own handmade jewelry business in 2010 while staying home to take care of her daughter. As a local artisan she understands the importance of the shop local movement.  Working at and being a member of the Gardiner Food Co-op has many great meanings for her. Giving back to the community and supporting the local food movement being one.  Working for a cause, having a purpose everyday to serve the people that come into the Co-op to shop, eat or just visit. Also setting an example of compassion and hard work for her daughter is very important to her.  Making good, healthy food that people will want to come back for again and again is an intention that she sets everyday. She looks forward to meeting many new people at the Co-op and being a familiar face in the Gardiner Community.

imageTyson Pease is a visual narrative artist and arts organizer living in Gardiner, Maine.  His image-text work ranges from adventure and poetry comics to illustrated essays and interviews. As a facilitator he has led workshops both in-person and online and worked with ages 7 through 70. Underlying his work is a passion for connecting people through stories and supporting the healing and illuminating practice of creative self-expression.  Tyson earned his Masters in Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. View his work at tysonpease.com

 

IMG_4615Clark Heijbroek has a Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Architecture but has been organic vegetable farming since moving to Maine with his wife a few years ago.  He is from the Netherlands originally but grew up in an intentional community in the North East of Scotland called the Findhorn Foundation.  He has moved many places since then and his experiences have lead him to see first hand the importance of community and local food.  Working at the Gardiner Food Coop where the staff are working to help each other, the customers and farmers in a genuine way makes Clark feel at home.  Alongside the Coop he is currently working at East of Eden flower farm in Bowdoinham trying his hand at something new.  If he isn’t at the Coop or farming you’ll find him running ultra-marathons or walking his scruffy dog Elton.

 

nadineNadine Zdanovich – After moving to Woolwich, Maine in her teenage years, Nadine was given the opportunity to help start a vegetable garden from scratch, on the Hockomock Bay Farm. This was the beginning of developing a taste and passion for healthy, organically grown vegetables and foods. Upon graduation from high school, this interest in healthy foods brought her to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she joined the New England Food Co-op (NEFCO) Warehouse team. After taking a prolonged detour into the domestic and international shipping industry, Nadine eventually found her way back to Maine, settling in West Gardiner and building a post-and-beam timber frame home with her husband Steve. She volunteered many hours and expertise for the Kennebec Local Food Initiative (KLFI) Food Buying Club, which eventually transformed into the Co-op. Many hours were also spent volunteering as Head Gardener for the UMA Community Garden in Augusta, during its second and third year of production. All vegetables from the garden were donated to the Augusta Food Bank. Nadine also handles customer service and administrative support for Farmer Kev’s Organic in West Gardiner.

Advertisements